After 2 days I can consider lucky at my arrival in the Netherlands, finding in less than 48 hours an acceptable accommodation in a nice area at an almost reasonable price, for this expensive city, today all went back to normality! Everything that could go wrong did it until late evening..
Today after signing the house contact I was supposed to pay deposit and first rent but this became an odyssey!
A language misunderstanding fooled me first let me thinking I could perform a straightforward post office payment for that. But what the landlady meant in Dutch was a bank giro payment, possible of course only when one got a Dutch bank. Could it be that easy? Impossible.
So since I got no laptop I had already searched in Italy where to find Internet cafe in Utrecht. I got 3 addresses and one was suggested by a future colleague:
• the latter one was in a large building in the center long time closed for renovation;
• the first of my google addresses was a large and probably famous coffee and cultural meeting place that also advertised to be a hotspot… For society or Internet I don’t know, but it wasn’t an Internet cafe!!
• the second of my addresses was indeed an Internet cafe… Of some sort!! I was the only western person inside in what could have been a Turkish meeting place with 5 old computer without Java, a thick cloud of smoke, one broken flipper dating back to the ’80s, a sort of juke box, 10-15 old wooden tables, a little bar and a separate room where I could not see clearly inside but I think they were playing cards. The only modern thing inside was a cigarette distributor. I could not open my bank (better probably) but I got a very good Turkish coffee!!
• the last google address brought me to some sort of building where different cultural groups had offices and I have no idea about the connection with the words “Internet cafe”.
All of this done walking because it is just easier than biking when you have to stop to check the map every 5 minutes and here the bike traffic is far more active than the car one!
Trusting google maps? Again impossible.
Desperate (no payment no apartment keys, more nights in expensive hotel) I begged the guy working in the hotel to use his laptop. He said ok and finally I managed to get the payment through… but of course the bank date for the transfer is Monday!!!
I miss China (and Japan) so much: Europe should learn how an Internet cafe should look like and should offer!!!
China third world?? Impossible! Europe, you’re still far in something!!
FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – While I was finishing up with the pc in the hotel reception I heard a couple of Italians asking the hotel guy where they could find a coffee shop of Dutch type, since it was their first visit to the Netherlands ;)